• Full Name: Donald John Trump, Sr.
• Occupations: Real estate magnate, television personality, beauty pageant host
• Education: B.S. Economics, University of Pennsylvania
• Age: 69
• Party: Republican
• Notable Endorsements: Terrell Owens
As if the 2016 Presidential Race wasn’t chaotic enough, Donald Trump (AKA “The Donald”) has now thrown his hat (and toupee) into the ring. Trump, known by most Americans as the “you’re fired”-dude from his reality TV show, The Apprentice, and the host of the Miss Universe pageants, generated his multi-billion dollar worth through his real estate enterprise. (He claims he’s worth $8 billion, but has sued people in the past for suggesting he’s worth less). His main organizations: The Trump Organization and Trump Enterprise Resorts, are famous for the many Trump Towers, Trump Casinos, and other Trump-things (like when you teach a toddler how to write his name and it’s the only word his can spell, so he writes it on everything). His massive financial prowess, name recognition, and haughty persona have made “The Donald” the celebrity figure he is.
Trump has dabbled in the political realm before. A registered Republican for most of his early life, Trump attempted a campaign for President as the candidate for the Reform Party (a third party famous for its success with Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996) in 2000, but failed to win the nomination. In 2001, he became a registered Democrat, only to switch back to a Republican in 2009. He generated speculation about a potential 2012 Presidential run as a Republican, speaking at CPAC in 2011 and pushing the “birther” movement, a movement among many Tea Party activists that claimed that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States and demanded he show his birth certificate. He eventually decided against running in spring of 2011.
However, on June 16, 2015, he answered rumors about a 2016 run by descending the escalator of the Trump Tower in New York City to tell a group of paid actors, I mean, passionate supporters, that he’s rich, and is running for the Republican nomination for President.
Though his campaign has been little less than a month old, it has already been one of the most bizarre and controversial campaigns in primary history, filled with flamboyant gestures, allegations of racism, and very little discussion about any concrete policy, but rather broad and peculiar statements. Regardless, given the current campaign finance structure of American politics, Trump is able to spend hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars into his campaign and has proven he is a force to be reckoned with in the 2016 Republican Primary.
Economy & Taxes
In his simply bizarre announcement speech (full text), Trump stated that, if elected, he will be the “greatest jobs President that God ever created.”
He claimed that, “the American dream is dead … but I will bring it back bigger and stronger than ever before.” His campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” is based off of former President Ronald Reagan’s slogan, “Let’s Make America Great Again,” which Trump trademarked two years ago.
He has stated in favor of reducing taxes on American citizens and business, as well as cutting back on regulations on businesses.
Trump differs from his Republican colleagues on entitlement reform, pledging that he wouldn’t cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid if elected President.
Trump believes that global warming and climate change is not true and is a hoax made by China and scientists “that are having a little fun.”
He has also pointed to the recent record-breaking cold temperatures in previous years as proof that global warming is fake. (Though the science is fairly solid that increased global temperatures actually produce more extreme weather).
“The Donald” also sued the Government of Scotland for planning to build several wind turbines by his Trump International Golf Links course in Aberdeen, arguing it would block the scenic views from the course.
Trump differs from not only other Republicans, but also President Obama, on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which he opposes. He argues it gives nations like China and Japan an edge over U.S. businesses.
He stated that he “beats China all the time” and will bring back jobs from China. He has accused China of currency manipulation and over saturating the market with cheap products. It has been since noted that many of his Trump business wear products, like the Trump ties, shirts, and cufflinks, are in fact, “Made in China.”
Trump stated in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that there’s “nobody bigger or better at the military” like himself. (Eisenhower and Lincoln were pretty good, but they weren’t Trump good). He stated that he would hit ISIS “hard,” but wouldn’t necessarily send ground troops. He said if we go back and “take that oil, they have nothing left.”
He said he would “double and triple” the sanctions on Iran and would be in favor of a tougher deal on their on their nuclear program.
Trump said he would “be willing to bet” he could have a great relationship as President.
He believes that illegal immigrants, mainly from Mexico, are “destroying the fabric of the country,” and argues that Mexico is the “new China” in terms of cheap labor and products.
In order to combat this problem, Trump stated that he would build a “great wall,” as “nobody builds walls better than [Trump],” all along the US-Mexico border and he would make Mexico pay for it. He told Bill O’Reilly that he’ll force them to pay for the wall by “doing something that they will not be thrilled [sic].” After the wall goes up, Trump believes that then Mexico “will begin behaving.”
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
Trump generated more controversy in his announcement, stating in regards to the immigrants coming from Mexico: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” (it’s physically impossible for every single one to be a rapist). Trump has since stated that he does not regret his statement
His statement has created significant backlash from many sources:
• Mexican television network, Univision, announced it would not air the Miss USA pageant
• NBC Universal also cut ties with Trump, deciding not to air the Miss Universe or Miss USA pageant
• Macy’s department store decided to pull all Trump-brand merchandise
• Serta, a mattress manufacturer, ended ties with Trump
• NASCAR cut ties with Trump and will not hold their awards banquet at Trump’s resort in Miami
Trump’s statement has also been criticized by many foreign dignitaries.
Trump has stated his skepticism of vaccines, arguing that they are causing autism in children.
Trump stated that he is for “traditional marriage.” Trump is currently on his third marriage.
Trump’s views on abortion have evolved over time. In 2000, he stated in his book, The America We Deserve, that he was pro-choice. At the 2011 CPAC conference, however, he stated that he is now pro-life, having been swayed by several personal stories.
Trump is opposed to the Common Core and any federal standards for primary and secondary schools. He questioned Jeb Bush’s support for Common Core, saying in his announcement speech, “how the hell can you vote for this guy?”
Despite Trump’s unorthodox campaign, the current Republican field is honestly set up for his success. With 13 other candidates who have overlapping viewpoints running for the nomination, Trump is able to stand out and run on his own platform. The latest HuffPost Pollster places Trump leading the pack with 13.6% and that’s really all he needs to win any state with that many contenders. He has more disposable money for his campaign than any other candidate to get his catchphrases out there and he’ll gain access to the debates easily.
The debates can make or break Trump. Either Trump will win over voters with his brashness and arrogance, using his wealth as an indicator that he can run America as one of his businesses and lead it to prosperity (or Chapter 11 bankruptcy) OR his lack of policy knowledge will cause the other seasoned politicians in the Republican establishment to tear him apart.
Also, with the amount of controversy his campaign has generated, it’s entirely possible Trump has to drop out of the race prior to the first primary, ala Herman Cain in 2012.
Normally, one would think that in the real world, an extravagant and narcissistic billionaire and TV celebrity does not have the qualifications, nor any shot at being the President of the United States. But this isn’t the real world, this is the 2016 Presidential race and given all the chaos that’s already occurred in the race, anything is possible (and we still have 5 months until the first primary).
If his campaign doesn’t derail prior, Trump has a good chance at winning in the early New Hampshire Primary and entering a dog fight as one of the Top 5 Republican contenders along with Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and Rand Paul, I believe.
Image Credit to Luke Vargas/TRNS